When you need a break or to figure out what you really want in life
I knew I needed a change when I left my career for a mini-retirement last fall. Many people feel trapped in a situation that is not the right fit, with little option to make a change. My focus on financial independence provided optionality through FU Money to take a big chance and walk away and take time to discover a new path.
FU Money has several definitions
Some claim that FU Money is the same as financial independence, meaning you can walk away from work for good. Others, like J. L. Collins, define F-you money as
Not enough to retire on perhaps, but enough to say F-you if needed.
I was very close to achieving my goal of financial independence when I finally realized that something had to give in my life. I needed time to figure out what I wanted to do when I grow up. Sure, I’m 49, but I never felt like I found exactly what I wanted to do.
Disciplined saving for the goal of financial independence builds a nest egg that can be used as FU Money when you need a break or to figure out what you really want in life.
If you are young and racing towards financial independence, it’s important to understand what you want to do with your life when work is no longer required. Using FU Money to take time away from your daily grind is a great way to provide the opportunity for discovery.
The likelihood that you will not work in any sense after reaching financial independence is very low. Knowing your life purpose is key.
Mini-Retirement is a Great Use of FU Money
A mini-retirement is loosely defined as at least three months away from work to focus on something new. Clearly, you will not be able to focus on your next chapter if you are stressed about your finances. Building a fund that can support your life during this phase is critical.
I was concerned about using money from my financial independence savings to take time away. In my case, I haven’t needed to use any savings to fund my mini-retirement period. My wife happens to enjoy her job after making a change in 2021. We’ve been able to maintain our lifestyle without dipping into that FU Money fund. This isn’t an option for everyone, but using that FU Money can be well worth the possible impacts on your financial independence date when you need a change.
Use Time Away From Work for Self Discovery
I’ve been in a mode of refocusing on myself and discovery for five months. During this time, I’ve reaffirmed that fitness is a priority. No matter what I choose to do in the future, I will prioritize time for my fitness. I’ve also decided to spend time learning new skills. I started writing daily in hopes that my experiences would benefit others. I’ve been moved by writings from others and feel a duty to help share that there is life outside of the constraints many of us feel in society.
Although I haven’t used my FU Money for this discovery period, I feel almost no stress because I was able to set aside money to float through a period without income from work. These last five months have given me an opportunity to breathe and better understand the path I want to take forward.
Starting on the Path to Financial Independence Leads to FU Money
I highly recommend saving for financial independence. Disciplined savings will not only set you on a path to financial freedom, but it will also provide optionality through FU Money. I didn’t know that I would find myself in a miserable career state a few years ago, much less when I was just starting out in my career. Things change and sometimes very quickly.
I feel incredibly fortunate that I’ve taken this time for myself. Everyone I know who has done something similar felt reinvigorated after some time away from their career. While financial independence is likely your end goal, don’t pass on an opportunity to recharge and refocus on your goals with FU Money.
The Journey to Financial Independence Creates Freedom
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